Wishing only wounds the heart....
Who: Desmond and Beth What: Leaving a note When: The crack of Dawn Where: Outside Beth's Apartment Rating: G Status: Complete
Magdelena stood a few feet from him. He could feel her gaze upon him, shining blue eyes soft and steady, blinking quietly, if perhaps only to distract from the monoty that would be from them unblinking, a steady rhythm to give him a moment to breathe when he had escaped the kindness of her gaze, under which it felt wrong to make any sound, any action that would disturb the way that she looked at him. There was love in her eyes there as she stared at him, and sadness as well. She looked as if at any moment she might cross that distance between them, reach out and pull him into her arms. But Desmond knew that she would not, he knew with absolute certainty that she would not move from the spot that she was at, but rather stare there, transfixed, a living statue, a vague memorial to something that was so very long gone.
It tore at his heart to look at her, and warmed it at the same time, to see her face, to remember with such unwavering clarity every detail of how she looked, the soft lines in her cheeks that came from the way that she smiled in a way that no one else smiled. There was no real way to describe it, except that it was bright, and perfect, and amazing. It was wide, so much that if anyone else had smiled like that, it might have seemed out of place, but something about the way her face was, it just seemed perfect on her. Just like the way that she moved, just like the way that she acted. She was flawless, in a way, and in that it was fitting that she stayed still, because to have her act might shatter the illusion of it all.
Leaning up against a wall that he knew wasn't there, Desmond drew his knees up to his chest and stared up at her hopelessly, watching her as he felt that familiar pain flow over him. He pressed his face into his knees and clenched them so tightly that he thought that he might break them, even know that he knew that he would not, or perhaps could not. But all the same he could feel himself aching for the desire to scream, to let loose that agony inside of him and bellow it out to the world the way that he had in his youth. But in age that scream had been slowly silenced until there was really nothing left to scream for, just a deadened feeling in his chest, and the pain that would just never fade no matter how hard he struggled against it.
"She's not real, you know." Came a gruff voice from the side of him. Desmond did not need to look up to know that the grizzled face was staring at him, looking down at him with the one good eye, while the other remained covered by the black as night eye patch that had almost always covered it. It had always been a grim reminder that regardless of what Desmond was, a part of him was, in fact, still human and still vulnerable. There was a long moment of silence that lingered in the air aftwards, so very much like it would have been, had things been different. But Desmond knew the truth, even if he did not state it out loud immediately. Instead he hung onto it until he felt like it would burst from his lungs, and then, only then did he sigh before speaking.
"You are not real either, Balthazar. You taught me how to have lucid dreams. As much as I wish it were otherwise, I know that this is what this is."
"Then you know well enough to know that I am not really your teacher, but rather the part of you that is wanting to guide you, to be something more than you are at the moment." Balthazar replied.
"Perhaps, or you are just something that my mind is trying to process." Desmond started.
"You never can really be certain with the inner workings of the mind, no one can, not even vampires who have mastered telepathy." Both of them said in unison at the exact same moment. Finally, Desmond met his gaze, and offered him something of a weak smile, but remained quiet until Balthazar decided to speak. It was the way he had learned to handle his old mentor in the past, it only seemed fitting to follow the same procedure in the dream, even if it was nothing more than a farce of reality.
"You do realize that you can control lucid dreams." Balthazar said finally.
"Yes." Desmond replied with the usual soft brevity that he spoke with when it came to Balthazar. His old mentor was not one for verbosity.
"And yet, you keep her standing there, staring at you. When you could feel her in your arms again, hold her again..." Balthazar trailed off at that point, and looked at him, Desmond looked back, after glancing at Magdelena, who was still staring at him.
"You are wondering why." Desmond said finally. "It is because this is a dream, Balthazar. Even if I held her again, touched her again, kissed her again, she would not be real. I will not insult her memory by pulling a puppets strings and pretending that it is really her." Desmond replied softly.
"Ah, but you are willing to do such to me. You always were such a flatterer..." Balthazar growled sarcastically. "Desmond..." Balthazar started.
Desmond sighed softly and closed his eyes. "Do not say what you're going to say next, please."
"It was not your fault, Desmond. I said that in life, and-"
"I asked you not to say that." Desmond interrupted.
"If I am a part of you, then even you accept that the blame does not lie with you. Why must you torture yourself like this over it? The girl that you care for so deeply now... is this what she will be to you as well? Something that you keep a yard from you, safe and untouched, something that you use to torture yourself? Do you truly think that is what she wants, Desmond?"
"No." Desmond said softly. "I will not let what happened to Magdelena happen to her. Not any of it."
"Should that not be her choice to make?" Balthazar proposed.
"No." Desmond replied quietly, bowing his head. "That is the mistake that I made last time."
Desmond woke to the sound of birds chirping outside of his window, the soft brightness outside betraying that morning would soon be upon them. Still dark, however, Desmond could hear the soft rhythm of Dannika sleeping, and knew that he would need to be quiet if he did not wish to wake her. Slipping to the ground he crossed his legs as he reached underneath his bed and pulled out a couple of items from below it. He had yet to get a good writing desk, but there had been a clip board at the store he had bought paper at that he had deemed sufficient for his needs for the time being.
Pulling that out he pulled out a box of 32 lb light brown paper. It was not exactly parchment, but it was far thicker and nicer than the standard 'paper' that Desmond had seen the other college kids using. That sort of thing could be torn at a whim. While this could be torn with some effort, it would at least take effort to destroy it, and something about that conveyed a bit more meaning to Desmond than writing on something that could easily just be crumpled and thrown away on a whim if it was not wanted. Perhaps though, that would be what Beth wanted to do with this.
Pulling out a quill and an ink well then, something that Desmond had been very pleased that they still sold, even if it was for 'novelty', Desmond set the pen in the ink, and began to compose his thoughts. The pen left something to be desired, but it was manageable, at the very least. Desmond made a mental note, however, to see if he couldn't find something a bit more sturdy in the future, as he knew with certainty that given too much use this quill would easily break, even if he would be able to get a note from it.
The letters were of such fine quality that it would look as if he had comprised the very constitution itself on the page that he wrote, even though that was not the case. Something told him that Beth would not really be paying attention to the way it was written anyway, once she got to the actual words that he was writing to her.
Once it was finished, Desmond gave it a moment to dry as he stared out into the sky, noting the sun threatening to raise it's rays on him. Making certain that the paper was dry, he tucked it into his coat and sped soundlessly out of his room and out of the apartment. The cool air of the morning felt refreshing, and strengthened his resolve to deliver the letter, even as the suns rays stopped his super speed to a light jog which he let fade into a slow, thoughtful walk as he approached Beth's dorm room.
A jogger was headed out, and Desmond managed to catch the door before it closed, slipping inside of it. He did not need directions to where Beth was, he knew each step by heart to her door, even though he had never dared to travel there himself in person until this moment. Setting the note upon the door, propped up against it by the handle, he quietly turned and started to walk away.
Against the door, the note read:
My heart aches even as I put quill to this page. After so many centuries, one would think that the written word would be easier than it is and yet it seems that you steal the words from my lips even at the thought of you.
There would be no apology so great that it would be worthy of using to ask your forgiveness for my transgression the other night. Know that I never would have intentionally put you in such danger had I thought that there were any other way to keep you from that man.
In that moment, however, there was a part of me that almost kissed you, a thing that I know would bring no end of shame to you. My soul wretches even admitting to that. It is for that reason above all others that I must say goodbye to you, Beth. I know you are spoken for and I would never defile your honor by trying to force my affections upon you. It is for that same reason that I must never be around you again.
I will not risk your honor for my own selfish lusts. Do not look for me, please, for both of our sakes, but know that I will watch over you as long as I am able.